Political Lessons From The Rio 2016 Olympic Commercials

by Tai Anderson, August 10, 2016

 

I've been really immersed in this year's presidential elections. As I talked about in my last few blogs, I actually had the opportunity to attend both political conventions, and was even able to speak on behalf of the ONE CAMPAIGN at the Republican convention.

For almost a year now, I've been immersing myself in presidential politics, totally guffawed at the state of politics in our country and the poor leadership I see represented by both mainstream candidates. You'll have to take me out to coffee or a meal to get my unfiltered political opinions, but I feel like our current political state has completed embraced division, fear tactics, and the "politics of the other." (Someone else is the source of your problems.)

The Olympics have been a welcome respite from my self-inflicted political news obsession. I didn't realize just how much I needed it till just last night when I found myself tearing up while watching the coverage. The funny thing is that I wasn't even watching the actual events. I was watching the commercials. 

I was emotional. I was inspired. As I fell asleep after an hour of teases for one more Michael Phelps race I was just too tired to watch, I had a final thought for the day: I wish that our politicians could make me feel the way the Olympic commercials do.

When I watch the Olympic commercials, I feel hopeful. I feel like America's strength is our diversity. I feel like anything is possible. I feel like it's an amazing time to be alive. I feel an affinity for the brands that made the commercials. I feel like the Olympic commercials capture my values better than I've heard any politician articulate: hard work, determination, diversity, faith, teamwork, endurance, humor, gratefulness.

Here are a few of my favorites.

In this Raising An Olympian story, see what it took to raise Ashton Eaton, U.S. Olympic Decathlete. This video is brought to you by Gillette and P&G, Proud Sponsor of Moms. Watch More P&G Thank You Mom stories inspired by the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
United for over 35 years.
Team USA Women's Gymnastics is strong enough to carry the weight of a nation. It's what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light. #RuleYourself #IWILL Soundtrack: Mantagi/M.I.A.
MINI is proud to partner with U. S. Olympians who have defied labels on their #RoadToRio. The athletes who have exceeded expectations and defined themselves. Because they are the ones who truly embody the Olympic spirit.
It takes someone strong to make someone strong. This summer, as we celebrate the world's athletes at the 2016 Olympic Games, let's not forget the person whose strength inspired them along the way: Mom. Thank you, Mom.
Nike 2016 Rio Olympics Commercial Idea

Perhaps, if our politicians communicated their vision for America's future the way that advertisers have communicated the American Olympic spirit, more of us would be eager to place our trust in their leadership. We just might feel a greater affinity for their brands too.

I'd love your thoughts.

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